Something I have had to learn the hard way is that there may be days where I can’t get any reading done at all. Between finishing an essay, studying for the next exam, and work; it can be hard to find time to simply read for pleasure.
As someone who feels that I need to read to survive, being able to fit a good reading session into my day becomes something essential to maintaining my sanity. I’ve decided to sacrifice some of my free time in order to bring out some of the tips that have helped me greatly.
Bring A Book With You Everywhere
This may be easier for me to do because I always have my backpack on me, but this is also a perfect opportunity to try out e-books as well. A coworker of mine has often used her phone as a reading device in order to keep up with the books she enjoys, and I myself have used my phone as a way to get my reading fix whenever I am out in public and can’t simply pull out a book from my purse to sit down and read.
The reason I do this is that you never know when you will have some a sudden moment to do some reading. Maybe class gets canceled and you suddenly have a block of time to yourself, or you managed to finish revising your essay earlier and have a few minutes to spare. Either way, having a book on you at all times can be helpful if have some time to kill and want to get some reading done.
Work Ahead on Assignments
I know, no one wants to do more work than they have to. But hear me out, what if you did some extra work earlier in the day, thus opening up some time later on to relax and read? Not only will it feel much more satisfying to have that work done earlier, but you’ll also feel much better when you aren’t rushing to get an assignment done last minute. That means fewer nights spent stress and more nights spent reading before bed with a hot cup of tea and my wonderful Lily.
Basically, the sooner you get assignments done, the sooner you can sit down and read. I realize that a lot of the time there are too many assignments to get through at certain times, so I would like to briefly address the use of a planner in order to better manage your time.
Planners Are Your Best Friend
I find I get a lot fewer anxiety attacks when I use my planner to plan out the week ahead of me. Each Friday I look at the assignments that are going to be due, and I then spread the workload out evenly throughout the week (taking into account the due dates). This way I can actually get everything done on time and have plenty of time to do it in the process.
Also, here’s a tip: If an assignment requires reading of any sort of outside research, then DO IT ON THE WEEKEND! Then you have plenty of time to analyze the material and take notes, so when it comes to actually do the assignment, it is much easier to answer every question.
Of course, this is just what works for me. Feel free to test out different ways of managing time (sometimes people sort there schedule into different time blocks rather than a simple list of tasks like I do), so you can figure out what works best in terms of getting schoolwork done the fastest way possible. There is no wrong way to schedule things, just keep in mind how much work you can mentally take in a day and try not to procrastinate too much.
Try Replacing Certain Habits With Reading
I haven’t read nearly as many books as I have hoped for these past two months. This is really on me because I spent a lot of my free time watching Netflix or playing video games when I could have been actually reading those books that I had been so excited to get from the library.
So, you can call it a new years resolution if you’d like, but I have been making a conscious effort to stop whatever I’m watching on Netflix (because chances are I’m on my phone and not even paying attention) and pull out a book to read. Free time is limited when you have lots of classwork and a job to worry about, so there is only so much you can do in that hour gap between classes.
There’s always the weekend for Netflix and video games, so why not spend those little free periods reading instead of doing mindless things on the internet? I’m not trying to say that watching television and playing video games is inferior to reading, but I have found that I’ve been able to read more pages in a week if I spend those little free periods reading rather than wasting my laptop’s battery.
Those are just a few things that I have learned over the last semester and a half, so I’m sure there’s a lot more that I will learn as I continue this adventure in higher education! Overall my stress has been very high and I am finding less and less time to write, but I will forge ahead and keep doing everything that I can to continue pursuing my passions!
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